What are you filled with?

“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first” (Luke 11:24–26).

This is an unsettling passage at the very least. But it should serve as a stark reminder that we need Jesus. Having clean lives and morals is not enough.

Jesus had just been accused of using Satan’s power to cast out demons. He rebuked these thoughts of the crowd by declaring He is a “strong man, full armed” (v. 21). He has come to plunder the kingdom of darkness and bring the kingdom of God. Such powerful statements!

And now this mini-parable. For us to clean house is not enough. We can’t simply make things nice and tidy in our hearts and expect for it to stay that way. 

No! Our flesh is bent towards sin and uncleanness. More than that, the evil forces led by Satan take advantage of a clean, but unfilled house.

In other words, we are in need of a “strong man” to take up residence to protect, clean and sustain us. We can’t clean and maintain our own holiness. We’re faulty and not enough. But Jesus has ushered in the kingdom of God and is transforming children of wrath into children of light. He’s plundering. 

Has He plundered you? Has He wrecked you? Has He come into your life and taken over so He can maintain, sustain and clean you?

Or are the influences of the world, demonic and fleshly, what take residence in your life? God has more than that for you in Christ. When the Son of God came to this earth, lived a perfect life to become the perfect sacrifice and bearer of God’s wrath towards sin, and died to be raised for the conquering of death on our behalf, Jesus extended His promise of grace, mercy and life to anyone who believes in Him. Turn from your sin and believe today. Unsure but curious? Reach out and contact us for more information, further discussion or simply prayer.

And for any of us believers, this parable is a reminder that our daily lives are more than morals. We need the ongoing influence and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We have been saved to something: obedience to God’s word motivated by a love for Him because He first loved us.

Don’t clean the house and not fill it properly. Trust Jesus in our daily lives and lean on His word.


 

James Hammack

James Hammack is a regular contributor to The Rope. He also is digital services manager for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. He also serves as worship pastor at Sovereign Grace Church, Prattville. He and his wife, Alicia, have three children.

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